English is the most spoken language in the world. Here are some 25 interesting facts you might want to know if you are learning English.
1. Over 2 billion people speak English as a first or second language, it means one out of 4 people can speak English! It makes English the largest language by the number of speakers, and the third largest language by the number of native speakers.
With 300 million native speakers, the United States of America is the largest English-speaking country. And by the way, the US doesn’t have an official language.
Additionally, there are 60 million native speakers in the United Kingdom, 29 million in Canada, 25.1 million in Australia, 4.7 million in the Republic of Ireland, and 4.9 million in New Zealand.
It is an official language of 67 countries as well as 27 non-sovereign entities such as Hong Kong or Puerto Rico.
2. “Go!” is the shortest grammatically correct sentence in the English Language.
3. The letter I is the shortest, oldest and most commonly used word in English.
4. The most common adjective used in English is ‘good’.
5. The most commonly used noun is ‘time’.
6. The word ‘set’ has the highest number of definitions.
7. The oldest English word that is still in use is ‘town’.
8. Only two English words in current use end in “-gry”. They are “angry” and “hungry”.
9. The first English dictionary was written in 1755.
10. The word goodbye originally comes from an old English phrase meaning God be with you.
11. A new word is added to the dictionary every 98 minutes, it means almost 14 words per day. Between now and your next meal, a new word will be put into the dictionary. During the course of the year, almost 4,000 new words are added to dictionaries. So, don’t freak out trying to learn all the existing vocabulary out there.
12. If we want to talk about “how many words are there in the English, language?” the answer will be: researchers from Harvard University and Google, they estimated a total of 1,022,000 words and that the number would grow by several thousand each year. But only about 170,000 words in current use according to the oxford dictionary. Again, don’t freak out. You don’t need to learn all these words to become fluent.
13. How many words an English native speaker knows? Studies have shown that the average English native speaker knows about 20,000 words and with university-educated people knowing around 40,000 words. When actually speaking and with everyday writing (emails, letters, notes, etc.) this goes down to about 5,000 very common words that are used repeatedly.
14. William Shakespeare (an English playwright, poet, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s greatest dramatist) invented many words, almost 1700 words such as birthplace, blushing, undress, torture and many more.
15. The phrase “long time no see” grammatically is not correct and it’s believed to be a literal translation of a Native American or Chinese phrase.
16. English is the language of science, aviation, computers, diplomacy, and tourism. Knowing English increases your chances of getting a good job in a multinational company within your home country or finding work abroad.
17. There’s a name for words that we repeat often. Words we always use even though they add no meaning or value to a sentence are called crutch words. For example, in the sentence “Then I was like, OMG, then like, he went there, actually, I don’t know…” it is pretty obvious that “like” is the crutch word. “Actually,” “honestly,” and “basically” are also commonly used as crutch words.
18. English is the language of the air. This means that all pilots have to identify themselves and speak English while flying, regardless of their origin.
19. Ways to spell “EE”. This sentence contains all of them: “He believed Caesar could see people seizing the seas”.
20. 11% of the entire English language is just the letter E.
21. The English language is said to be one of the happiest languages in the world, and the word ‘happy’ is used 3 times more often than the word ‘sad’!
22. English is the language of the media industry. If you speak English, you won’t need to rely on translations and subtitles anymore to enjoy your favorite books, songs, movies, and TV shows.
23. English is also the language of the internet. Over 80% of the information stored on computers worldwide is in English. Many websites are written in English. You will be able to understand them and take part in forums and chats.
24. English is based on a simpler alphabet and it’s fairly quick and easy to learn compared to other languages. The sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” contains all the alphabets. We call it: pangram. A pangram is a unique sentence in which every letter of the alphabet is used at least once. The name comes from the Greek root words pan, meaning “all,” and gram, meaning “something written or recorded”
25. By learning English you will also learn about other cultures. Few experiences will make you grow as a person more than learning the values, habits and way of life in a culture that is different from yours.
And if you want to see all of these facts in a video, check it out: